5 Carolina Panthers players on the hot seat in Week 9 at Bengals

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Donte Jackson
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Donte Jackson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Yetur Gross-Matos /

Yetur Gross-Matos – Carolina Panthers DE

One of the biggest problems in Week 8 was a lack of pass-rush. The Atlanta Falcons had their way with the Carolina Panthers’ defensive front, although Derrick Brown and Brian Buns did manage to make plays with supreme attention coming their way.

It was another poor showing from Yetur Gross-Matos. The former second-round selection is not living up to increased expectations in a starting role, making the team’s decision to let Haason Reddick walk in free agency even more regrettable.

Gross-Matos isn’t generating any sort of meaningful pressure consistently. He’s credited with just half a sack and four pressures through eight weeks, which is far from the level anticipated considering how confident Carolina was in the Penn State product prior to the campaign.

Time is running out for Gross-Matos to convince the Panthers he’s worthy of a starting berth long-term. If the same inefficiency occurs over the next few weeks, then finding a stud pass-rusher from the college ranks will be among Carolina’s top priorities next spring.

Sunday’s game against a suspect Cincinnati Bengals offensive line represents a good opportunity for Gross-Matos to have a mini-breakout of sorts. Although nobody could say that was possible with any great confidence based on his performance levels to date.